• What if the MILF Bangsamoro did a Crimea to join Malaysia?

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    In the meantime, the Malaysian federation despite pressures from local groups’ political and academic circles continues to enjoy the natural resources of the disputed territory pumping no less than 300,000 barrels of oil a day which has earned her billions of ringgits every year plus the billions earned from the production of some 2.5 million tons of precious palm oil per annum.

    In a way the Sultanate can only blame itself for the botched Sabah deal between the Sultanate and the East India Company. If the few thousand pounds handed to the former was meant to be rental the amount was ridiculous. If it was meant to be amortization it was an insult to their intelligence.

    Be that as it may it must also be said that the good lord knows what would have happened to the people of Sabah, mostly of Tausug origin, had they been under the Sultanate. If we go by the track record of the Sultanate the Sabahans would probably be wallowing in the same level of economic distress as their cousins in Sulu. Thanks mostly to the British colonizers who discovered and developed the vast expanse of land the Sabahans today enjoy a quality of life which can only be the envy of the Suluanons and the very reason that they opted to stay with the federation.

    Does this justify the illegitimate annexation by the Anglo-Malaysians of Sabah in 1963? Of course not! Only just compensation can rectify the situation. Obviously there is a connection between the Malaysian excessive interests in Bangsamoro. There is the promise of development of Malaysian palm oil plantations (which are now discouraged in Malaysia and Indonesia because of some economic and environmental concerns as both nations are perceived to have reached the outer limits of industry expansion); the expansion of Malaysian banks purportedly as financial conduits to the inflow of Malaysians direct investments etc. Parenthetically today a Malaysian Willmar dominates the lauric trade, importing most of the palm oil needs of this country which is sourced from its vast plantations in Sabah and the Malaysian territories even as it is the major player in the coconut trade crushing a substantial amount of copra in its controlled mills. This group, the Kuok group, is also now a big player in the hotel business with its Shangri-La chain. Even as we write this piece a Malaysian company reportedly agreed to invest in a banana plantation which will insure a lot of employment opportunities. Other projects are in the offing such as the Mindanao Halal Institute of Science and Technology, motor pool and warehouse, clinic and hospital, places of worship, food processing complex, the development of fruit trees and value crops plus recreational projects for children and adults.

    (Concluded tomorrow)

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    1 Comment

    1. Daniel B. Laurente on

      It cannot be ignored the possibilty as the title of this article suggested. If our gov’t is not willing to root out the natural resources of the southern part of the country for future development of the areas under the control of Bangsamoro then there is always the possibility they will join a group that will provide assistance.